Hindu Press International
Chaos Afflicts Hindu Pilgrims In Kashmir Hills
INDIA, July 11, 2012 (eurasiareview.com): The annual pilgrimage to Amarnath, one of the holiest shrines of Hindus nestled in the Kashmir Himalayas at a height of 12,750 ft. above sea level and dedicated to Lord Shiva, has been caught in confusion again, mainly due to overcrowding and mismanagement. The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) is responsible for organizing the event which draws more than half a million devotees from across India and abroad in summer. Apart from the visitors finding the amenities available at various locations in the pilgrimage area insufficient and facing other problems like scarcity of cooking gas and overpricing, more than fifty pilgrims have died, most of them due to cardiac arrest, during the first fortnight of the event which officially began on June 25.
On Monday, as many as 43,401 pilgrims were allowed to perform darshan (glimpse) of the Shivling at the sanctum sanctorum, taking the number of devotees visiting the revered place of worship in first 15 days to 343,218. This suggests that the SASB has allowed at an average more than twenty two thousand pilgrims to pay obeisance at the cave-shrine every day which is in total disregard of the rule book. In 1996, thousands of pilgrims on the way to the Amarnath were caught in an untimely snowstorm resulting in the death of 273 pilgrims. The Nitish Sengupta Committee, formed by the government after the catastrophe, made several recommendations which included regulation of the number of people visiting the cave-shine and making registration of the pilgrims and allocation of fixed quota to various states in India mandatory. The report had asked for allowing a total of 3,500 pilgrims to the cave-shrine every day-2,800 from traditional Pahalgam and 700 from shorter Baltal routes.
Health department officials found that the majority of pilgrims had not bothered to get themselves properly checked up medically and were carrying with them mandatory health certificates just for formality. Most of them had not followed the 'does and don'ts' issued by the SASB yet they were allowed to proceed beyond the base-camps. Also, a majority of the pilgrims come from the low altitude and before embarking on journey in the high altitude area should be made to acclimatize at least for 48 hours. But they begin their trekking immediately after arriving at the base-camps in vehicles.
Majuli Monks To Perform Unique Dance Drama In France And Switzerland
http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/o ... states/article3516444.ece
INDIA, June 12, 2012 (The Hindu): A Sattriya dance troupe from Majuli river-island will perform an innovative dance drama in France and Switzerland based on the tales depicted on Vrindavani Vastra. Vrindavani Vastra is a unique tapestry woven by skilled Assamese weavers in the sixteenth century under the supervision of the medieval Vaishnavite saint, social reformer and creative genius Srimanta Sankardeva and his chief disciple Madhavdeva. It depicts scenes from Krishna's childhood home of Vrindavan.
The ten-member dance troupe of bhakats (monks) of Uttar Kamalabari Sattra (a Vaishnavite monastery) of Majuli, led by noted Sattriya exponent and research scholar Bhabananda Barbayan, will give 22 performances -- 12 in France and ten in Switzerland -- from June 14 to July 15 based on this unique textile masterpiece that depicts the life of Krishna at Vrindavan.
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